For Christmas in 1976 or so, my father gave me my first camera: a Kodak Instamatic, complete with fancy flip flash and cartridge film. Through the years, he taught me everything I know about photography, from the dry lessons in f-stops and shutter speed, to the more engaging discussions about photos as art.
My dad spent hours viewing my countless snapshots of my mom cooking or a cat sleeping, oohing and aahing over my "composition," all the while teaching me about light, the rule of thirds, and storytelling without my ever realizing it.
Eventually I put my camera down. Life had became too busy and photos were merely for documenting birthdays and vacations. But for some reason I rediscovered my hobby in my 40s. My father was now gone, but his knowledge and passion for photography were not, and my love for taking pictures was rekindled.
Still a hobbyist, in 2014 I began volunteering my photography after adopting my own dog from a rescue. Through inviting images, I hope to connect people with animals in need, and I think my dad would have liked that.